Florence and Tuscany are all lit up for the height of the holiday season, with mulled wine still being sipped at the markets for a few more days. As busy as you may be between cups of cioccolata calda and church services, there’s certainly no shortage of Christmas-themed activities, parties, nativity scenes and sales to occupy your attention. More complicated is coming up with Capodanno (New Year’s Eve) plans, a holiday that can sometimes get the short shrift. Left your planning to the last minute? Several options are worth weighing in Florence and surrounding areas: here are some of our top picks.
The annual city concert
Per tradition, piazzale Michelangelo is the place to be for NYE: Florence’s most famous overlook will host its customary pop concert, this year featuring Ermal Meta, Morgan and Raphael Gualazzi, in a festive night organized by Le Nozze di Figaro. Local comedian and musician Lorenzo Baglioni, who recently made a viral splash with his song on the dangers of misusing the Italian subjunctive, will host the evening’s festivities.
If you’re not up for the piazzale crowds, venture to one of the various themed squares and neighborhoods instead. Piazza della Signoria will host its customary classical music concert; the Oltrarno gets a jazzy makeover with New Orleans-themed music, marching bands and celebrations (from 10.30pm); and piazza Bartali in Gavinana will host family and kid-friendly activities and circus-themed workshops with Cirk Fantastik beginning at 5.30pm. All events (including the piazzale Michelangelo concert) will offer free entry. Check the City of Florence‘s website for updates.
New Year’s Eve at Tenuta di Artimino
Seeking something a bit chicer and possibly outside the city? Turn New Year’s Eve into a mini-escape at a Medici villa and join the festivities at Tenuta di Artimino in Carmignano – we’re talking prime DOCG wine country. The night will feature an elaborate menu, kicking off with a welcome aperitivo followed by two first courses, two mains, desserts and the estate’s own wines. (Red prawn, beet and burrata risotto and Beef Wellington with lentils, mashed potatoes and cavolo nero are just some of the menu highlights, if your palate needs a preview). After the clock strikes midnight and the crowd raises their glasses to the New Year, a DJ set and open bar will keep the party going in style. Round out the night by staying on till the morning: the Tenuta is offering several NYE dinner, overnight stay and spa packages for guests. Options include apartments or the elegant rooms of the Hotel Paggeria Medicea (beginning at 275 euro per person for apartments or 300 euro per person for the rooms). To book, email email@example.com or call 055 8751426/7.